Redditors have been sharing wedding horror stories and hard-learned lessons in the Ask Reddit thread, “What’s the one thing you regret doing for your wedding day?” I had a perfect wedding, and my only regret is getting really tightly tailored suit pants. So get yourself some slacks with room to grow, and learn these wedding lessons the easy way.
Use digital RSVPs
Shirleysparrow regrets using paper invites and RSVPs:
The amount of stress I put myself through trying to get paper mailed back to me in an era when no one uses mail anymore was so unnecessary. At one point we’d gotten very few RSVPs back and I had a total crying meltdown about how no one was going to come. Of course they were going to come, it’s just no one uses mail anymore.
Instead, Shirleysparrow says, you should use a wedding site, which saves money and time. (If you do paper invites — my wife sent out a zine — you can still ask for RSVPs over email.)
Don’t save the sex for the wedding night
If you’re not worried about a smiting from God, the time for sex is the morning of. Or do it during the reception, like d_rickards: “We did the whole ‘change outfits’ thing after the first dance, it gave us 15 minutes... With the other 14:30, I helped my bride hang her dress safely.”
Get a ton of pictures
“My number one regret is telling people not to take pictures,” says DarwinsLoveChild. They hired a sketchy photographer who banned other cameras (she said the flash would interfere with her photos), then ghosted without delivering her photos. So DarwinsLoveChild has fewer than 20 photos of their wedding.
Never let your photographer ban cameraphones; even if you have a good photographer, they can’t be everywhere at once, and your friends’ pics are often the best.
The usual method these days is an Instagram hashtag, but according to redditors mcginnis88 and cinnamonbrook, if you leave out disposable cameras for everyone, you’re gonna get dick pics.
You have a high-energy day that keeps you on your feet, and you’ll be running around at dinner time too. “We got married early in the day on a beach,” says Downvotesdarksouls, “and all I could think about was how much I wanted a breakfast sandwich with eggs, cheese and bacon on a toasted Wnglish muffin with just a touch of hot sauce!”
Eat dinner, too. It’s easy to forget that as you walk around the reception chatting with all your friends. Uandmefor didn’t even get to eat his own groom’s cake.
Don’t invite people you don’t actually like
“They just cost you money, you don’t interact with them at all, and they usually don’t bring a nice gift to make up for it,” says Arctic_Walrus. “EXCEPT for letting all of the divorced aunts and uncles bring +1’s,” just to watch the drama.
This is the best way to improve your wedding. You have finite time, and the fewer people you invite, the more time you get to spend with each. Drop the drama-causers, the acquaintances, and the people you’ve lost touch with. There are better ways to rekindle a friendship than inviting someone to a party of 100 strangers.
Prepare your speech
If you’re going to speak, don’t wing it. “I thought I’d just go up, thank everyone for coming and sit back down. Short and sweet, get it out the way,” says spideyismywingman. “That’s exactly what I did, without mentioning my parents or my wife.”
Don’t let your family run your wedding
Amrothnimrodel’s mother-in-law ruined their wedding by replacing their chef with grocery store catering, which I didn’t even know was a thing. Snote85’s mother-in-law bought her a cheap, ugly wedding dress unasked. Throwacape’s mother-in-law said they would regret each choice — and she was wrong.
ElbisCochuelo’s family offered to pay for things, but then they cheaped out: One uncle rented a seedy limo off Craigslist, and another uncle “paid” for honeymoon airfare, then cut the trip from 18 days to 12 because the flight was cheaper.
Their in-laws brought a hundred extra guests without notice. “We had to have the caterers adjust on the fly and drag some tables out of storage. And then we had to order pizza for the rest. People we actually wanted there were eating fucking pizza on dusty tables.” Then the in-laws told them they couldn’t hang out with their friends unless they gave equal time to all the unexpected guests. Good lord.
It’s OK to make a few concessions to your family. Let them invite a few of their friends so they don’t feel lonely among all your young friends. Let them pick the tablecloth or give a silly toast. And if you’re actually comfortable letting them take over all the planning, that’s great!
But if your family is making it hard to have the wedding you want, you need to put your foot down early. Tell them that paying for a child’s wedding is a gift, not a purchase. If they can’t accept that, you’re better off paying yourself than ending up as an unhappy guest at your own party. Your wedding is the only party where you can almost guarantee having all your loved ones in one place. And if you’re lucky, you only get to do it once.
Get creative with the ceremony
Here’s another regret: “Not having our grandmas as flower girls,” says CongregationOfVapors. They had no little kids available, and they just didn’t think of using the grandmas. But now you can.
Don’t run your own errands
Whether or not you have an official bridal party, assign a few friends to errands. Don’t work them the whole time, but if you leave your wedding ring in the bathroom before going to the reception — like torva_xanth did — you shouldn’t rush back yourself. Ask a bridesmaid or a groomsman! If you’re nice and decent about it, everyone wants to help you on your wedding day.
“We all know what we signed up for,” says TheOtherPenguin. “Just for the love of god please have an open bar as the light at the end of the tunnel.”
“This will sound petty, but I regret wearing my hair up,” says SuzQP. “It felt so unlike me.”
It’s nice to feel fancy on your wedding day, but don’t feel forced to do anything really uncomfortable. Sometimes weddings feel like a cardboard cutout with a hole for your head: Same dresses, same rituals, same ceremony, same songs on the dance floor. And I’d rather sit through a Klingon wedding than another default wedding.
Only register for what you really want
“Registering for gd china,” says supertinypenguin, who hasn’t used the china in 25 years. Everyone on the thread agrees that they should use the china every day. Live like you’re in The Last Man on Earth!